MMA Monday: UFC 117 Predictions

July 26, 2010

The UFC has a major problem on its hands this year (albeit a good problem to have): topping or even matching the entertainment of  legendary 116, which featured not a boring moment in 4 epic battles on the main card. And speaking of boring, Anderson Silva is headlining the 117 card. ‘Nuff said. If he toys around with Chael Sonnen like he did Damien Maya and Thales Leites we could be in for a real snoozer, not to mention a furious Dana White who has already spoken to the fighter and his manager about his octagon antics.

But there’s hope. Chael Sonnen has been very liberal with the shit-talking in promoting the event despite the fact that Sportsbook.com and other sports betting sites have Silva (-500) and Sonnen (+350). Hopefully Silva will come into the ring fired up and ready to take names like he used to. I think Sonnen will try to take him to the ground early and I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he will succeed. However, that’s as far as he will get. My prediction is that Anderson Silva wins by submission in Round 2.

But before we watch Silva sleepwalk through another W in the middleweight division, we’re going to watch Jon Fitch and Thiago Alves – two very evenly matched fighters – go to battle. Both fighters went the distance with GSP and have tremendous wrestling skill. I’m a huge Jon Fitch fan (so I’m biased) but I also think his recent wins and Thiago Alves’ ring rust is going to give Fitch the edge. My prediction is that Jon Fitch wins by unanimous decision.

Clay Guida is always a pleasure to watch and is one of the most talented lightweight fighers, but I don’t think August 7th will be his night. I was really impressed by Rafael Dos Anjos’ submission win over Terry Etim at UFC 112. It was one of the most perfectly executed arm bars I’ve seen in a while. And he’s scary fast on the ground. After trying to stay standing up for a round, I think Guida is going to get caught while trying to ground-and-pound Dos Anjos. My prediction is that Dos Anjos will win by submission in Round 2.

Finally, although Roy Nelson’s fat, finesse and experience has been able to earn him TUF 11 honors, I think JDS is too good to get caught in Nelson’s fat or get knocked out in dirty boxing. He’s on one of the most impressive tears in the UFC, has beaten some of the best in the division, and he really should be the next person to fight for the heavyweight title after Cain Velasquez. He has a height and reach advantage over Nelson, solid Jiujitsu and serious knockout power. My prediction is that JDS wins by TKO in Round 2.

On top of all that  it’ll be good to see Matt Hughes fight and I’m always happy to see Dustin Hazelett’s jiujitsu. Overall I’m excited for the fights. But I won’t be buying 117, I’ll be going to Hooters in NYC 🙂


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